When someone is struggling with a substance use disorder, he or she is likely experiencing symptoms and consequences of that use on a regular basis. His or her life may have morphed into something that is unrecognizable to them, however, the use easily continues. The longer that one’s substance use disorder lasts, the more complex it becomes, making the idea of getting help to seem almost impossible. When the family members of an individual with a substance use disorder come together to support him or her, the ideas that once seemed impossible can quickly become tangible possibilities.
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How Can Families Be Supportive?
By the time someone reaches the point of needing professional addiction treatment, chances are the family members of that individual have gone through their own difficult experiences. Addiction is a disease that completely and entirely impacts the whole family, and it is extremely rare to find family members who are not in some way affected by a loved one’s addiction. In fact, countless family members of addicted loved ones reach out for professional help of their own in an effort to cope with the remnants left behind by the tornado of addiction.
However, in many cases, the lasting impacts of a loved one’s addiction do not stop families from searching for ways to be supportive of their loved ones. It is important for families to ensure that the actions they take with their loved one aids in his or her betterment rather than his or her (and the family’s) decline. Some of the ways in which families can be supportive of a loved one in addiction treatment can include the following:
- Offer help – When you speak with your loved one, let him or her know that you are willing to help in any way possible. Even if your loved one is unsure of what he or she needs from you, just knowing that you are there to lean on can keep him or her comfortable and confident during treatment.
- Make yourself available – In most treatment programs, cell phones and other forms of electronic communication are typically not allowed, making it difficult to get in touch with your loved one as quickly as normal. A better option for communication with your loved one can be setting up a time of day to get on the phone to talk or set specific dates where you can go see him or her. Remain present in your loved one’s recovery, as doing so can help him or her stay focused and determined.
- Tell the truth – When in recovery, patients are constantly working on bettering themselves in ways that improve upon basic skills, such as telling the truth. Patients at JourneyPure, for example, are encouraged to live by their truths. Therefore, when you are in contact with your loved one, it is important to adopt the same mentality, as long you ask your loved one if being truthful is ok with them at the time. Many patients are very raw emotionally, especially during the beginning of treatment, which is why asking for permission first is imperative.
- Remain consistent – It is imperative to remain consistent in your loved one’s recovery, as going back and forth within his or her life can be very upsetting and make the relationship worse, thus making the process of recovering more challenging.
Above all else, seek professional treatment for yourself. It comes with no doubt that you have also experienced a tremendous amount of pain and upset, which is why reaching out for personal care via a therapist or counselor can help you support yourself so that in turn, you can also support your loved one.
Benefits of Family Support
When a patient’s family supports him or her during treatment, he or she can achieve even more success than initially thought. This is because recovering from addiction is not something that can be done alone. Rather, addiction is proven to be better treated when done amongst others. Therefore, the support of family means everything.
It is very common for individuals in recovery to struggle with feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth, guilt, shame, embarrassment, and so on. When the family steps in to offer support, an individual can start to feel like he or she matters, is loved, and is being rooted for. With all those negative thoughts about oneself constantly lurking, being able to see others offering support can help any individual at a treatment center get that extra boost of encouragement.
Families are often involved in some therapy sessions with their loved one, which is extremely beneficial, as it allows for those participating to open up the lines of communication and work on the issues that have held them back from achieving good health. When the family works to heal alongside the individual in recovery, his or her chances of maintaining sobriety increase significantly.
When patients come out of the fog of active addiction, they might be stunned to realize just how much destruction they have caused. This is completely normal, as is the thought that nobody in his or her family is going to accept him or her back into their lives again. When families remain a consistent presence in the loved one’s recovery and when they make plans with him or her, the fear of continuing to lose everything can be remedied.
The greatest benefit of family support is that both the loved one in treatment and his or her family members are able to work together towards a happier, healthier future that is free of substance abuse. In working together, trust can be rebuilt, relationships can be healed, and confidence in next steps can develop.
JourneyPure Can Help
If you and your family are struggling with a substance use disorder, we at JourneyPure can help. We know how much you have gone through and are pleased to offer as many of our services as possible to both you and your loved ones so that your family can start restoring itself piece by piece. Please contact us at JourneyPure right now to learn more about how we can help.